Reese Witherspoon and Buick team up to tap more female buyers in new EV ad (2024)

A car that can change its colorto match your outfit?

Yep. That's what Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon suggests in a new ad campaign General Motors launched Wednesday— online and on TV— that targetsfemale car buyers while promoting the futuristic Buick Wildcatconcept electric vehicle.

The 90-second spot is unapologetically directedto women.

The spot shows the Wildcat in a variety of scenarios, always with a woman in the driver's seat, doingfuturistic acts such as valet parking itself,self-drivingto workin "zen mode," which puts a peaceful, woodland setting on the windshield to promote relaxation.And, of course for the women wearing a white work suit, the blue car will change its exterior to white — almost like a mood ring on wheels.

Reese Witherspoon and Buick team up to tap more female buyers in new EV ad (1)

"At Buick we see a future that's even better because it's built around you," Witherspoon says in the spot. "Come dream with us."

It makes sense that GM's smallest brand would target its mid-luxury models to women. The brand dominates all other brands industry-wide in terms of percentage of buyers beingfemale. Plus, Buick has been collaborating with Hello Sunshine,the media company Witherspoon founded with the mission of putting women at the center of every story it creates, since October 2020. Buick offers an in-vehicle app to Reese's Book Club in certain models.

“With the largest percentage share of female buyers in the auto industry, we know that more and more women are making vehicle-buying decisions and we’re thinking creatively about how to offer experiences tailored to them,"Molly Peck, Buick GMCvice president of marketing, said in a statement.

Buick's electric future

Last year, 56%of Buick's sales weremade to women;no other brand comes close, Marc Bland,chief diversity officer for IHS Markit, now S&P Global, saidin a 2021 Free Press article.

Given that womenmake orinfluence 85% of all new vehicle purchases, that gives Buick an edge, Bland said, adding that, "Buick is the best mark for GM on how to get it right for women."

More:One of GM's smallest brands is big with female buyers

Bland said this year, it still holds true Buick leads in sales to women. Through June, 55.1% ofBuick's sales were to women. Secondis Mitsubishi at 51.8% of its sales going to women. Mini came in third at 51.4%and Toyota's luxury brandLexus is fourth at 50.2%.

"Those are the automakers where women contribute to the majority of their known-gender sales," Bland told the Free Press. "Theyhave a product that appeals to women and they market directly to all women."

Through June, Buick has sold 48,075 vehicles, down 57% from 111,711 sold in the year-ago period. GM, like all automakers, has struggled withnew-car inventory amid various parts shortages and production disruptions since early last year.

But Buick is on the road to zero emissions and self-driving technology like GM's other brands.

In June, GM unveiled the Wildcat EV concept with the promise thatBuick, like Cadillac, will goall-electric by 2030. GM is investing $35 billion in EV and self-driving technologies through2025. Itintends to offer an all-zero-emissions lineup by 2035 and be a carbon neutral company by 2040.

GM will give Buick anew emblemas the brand freshens the designs of its existing gasoline-powered vehicles and brings new products to marketover the next 18 months.

Reese Witherspoon and Buick team up to tap more female buyers in new EV ad (2)

TheWildcat EV concept is critical to Buick because it will influence the designof all of the brand's upcomingvehicles over the next several years, whether they be internal combustion engine or electric.

"What this whole concept car does, is gives us a visual representation of how the brand is actually shifting as we evolve into electric vehicles,"Rob Peterson,Buick marketing manager,told the Detroit Free Press in June. "There’s no better marketing than having a beautiful car out on the road. This concept is a start."

The first EV to hit Buick's lineup will come in 2024 and it will bean SUV. It and all future Buick EVs will be called Electra, followed by a number, Peterson said. Buick has not used the name Electra since 1990.

'Not committed to for production'

Thenew “Dream with Us” brand campaignenvisions what life could look like for future Buickowners as Witherspoon narrates a scenario that starts off with the features on today's gasoline-powered Buicks, such as self-parking, and segues to how Buick is dreaming of ways it can get better in the future.

Reese Witherspoon and Buick team up to tap more female buyers in new EV ad (3)

" 'Dream with Us’ shows a number of conceptual features and technologies that we have not committed to for production but help convey our vision for the future of Buick ownership,” Peck said.

Thecampaign shows Buick’s brand transformation by flashingthenew logo, using new music and, of course, a new brand voice in Witherspoon.

A moving book club

But Buick has worked with Witherspoon for years. This expanded collaboration with Hello Sunshine will also include creative work with her and morebrand collaboration, Buick said, without providing specifics.

TheReese’s Book Clubin-vehicle app will continuein eligible Buick vehicles. The audio-based app givesBuick drivers access to a selection of audiobooks and podcasts chosen for Reese’s Book Club.

Reese Witherspoon and Buick team up to tap more female buyers in new EV ad (4)

“We’ve worked closely over the past year on exciting new collaborations, including the launch of the RBC app in Buick vehicles, which was a huge success," said Zoe Fairbourn, Hello Sunshine'shead of brand partnerships. "We can’t wait to create more moments that empower and celebrate women together through our work.”

More:GM reveals all-electric Blazer police pursuit vehicle designed with help from officers

More:GM calls $1,500 OnStar plan optional — but new car buyers are being forced into it

Contact Jamie L. LaReau: jlareau@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and sign up for our autos newsletter. Become a subscriber.

Reese Witherspoon and Buick team up to tap more female buyers in new EV ad (2024)
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